Wednesday 30 July at 20:00 hour - De Kuip, Rotterdam

UEFA Champions League




‘At home we’re going for the win,’ says Rutten

Despite losing a couple of key players in the run-up to the first European test of the season, Fred Rutten is confident ahead of the two-legged tussle with Besiktas. With captain Jordy Clasie alongside him and faced by Dutch and Turkish journalists, the coach had a clear message going into Wednesday’s home leg in the Champions League third qualifying round. ‘At home we’re going for the win.’

‘At home we’re going for the win,’ says Rutten
“I don’t think there’s a clear favourite in tomorrow evening’s match”
Fred Rutten

Since being drawn against Besiktas, the Feyenoord coaches have taken every opportunity to see the Istanbul outfit in action. The result is an extensive dossier of their strengths and weaknesses, Rutten explained. ‘We know all about their qualities. Besiktas are a technically skilful and highly disciplined team that are hard to beat. On the other hand, they find it hard to win matches too. It’ll be our job to hurt them where they are most vulnerable. In any case, it will be a match in which both sides will look to play on the edge. That’s all part of football at the highest level.’
Besiktas secured the services of striker Demba Ba from Chelsea earlier this month, but, like at Feyenoord, a number of players have also left the club since the end of last season. ‘In that sense the two clubs are in a comparable situation,’ said Rutten. ‘And both Feyenoord and Besiktas would like to have an extended run in Europe again. I don’t think there’s a clear favourite in tomorrow evening’s match. We will be looking for the victory in our own stadium.’
Rutten has lost some key men in recent weeks, including top scorer Graziano Pellè, but he’s confident his team can do the job at a sold-out De Kuip. ‘Our preseason has not been optimal, because of all the transfers, but there is little use focusing on the players that are no longer available to me. I am totally focused on getting a performance in this match. That’s what it’s about. We are going for the very best and I have every confidence in the players.’
Jordy Clasie was in full agreement with his coach. The captain acknowledged that there has been a loss of quality with the departure of various first-team regulars, but was quick to talk up what remains. ‘When players leave, other players step up to the plate. We have a relatively young squad, but in guys like Khalid Boulahrouz, Joris Mathijsen and Ruben Schaken we still have players with lots of experience. After four seasons in the Eredivisie and a World Cup to my name I’m not an inexperienced player myself, but I’m not on their level yet in terms of age and knowledge. Time will tell what impact the departure of some players will have on the team, but I’m confident we will be up for the Besiktas match.’
Clasie only started training a week ago, after a well-earned late holiday post Brazil 2014, but the skipper says that he’s fully prepared for the coming Champions League qualifying challenge. ‘It’s great to be able to start with such an important match. I feel both physically and mentally fit and I’ve already picked up the pace at Feyenoord.’

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